SMS Links: How to Send Links in Texts & Shorten SMS URLs
Kyle Kuczynski
Kyle Kuczynski
MessageDesk Co-Founder & CMO
Updated: Oct 29, 2022

Learn How to Send a Link in a Text, Shorten SMS Links, & Add Website Links to Text Messages

Text messaging is a great way to send links to web pages. And now you can even track how many people clicked a link in a text message too.

But how does texting a link work?

In this article, I cover:

  1. What an SMS link is
  2. Web links vs short links vs hyperlinks
  3. How to send a link in a text
  4. How businesses and organizations use live links in text messages
  5. SMS link best practices

By the end, you’ll know how SMS links work, how to send a link in a text, and even track your link click-through rates.

Read on for more.

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What is an SMS Link?

An SMS link is a hyperlinked website URL embedded in an SMS text message. SMS links are clickable URLs that redirect text message recipients to a webpage. Embedded SMS links are also a way for website visitors to immediately contact you via text message from your website. SMS links embedded in websites use HTML code to launch a user's text messaging app with your business phone number pre-loaded.

Web Links vs. Short Links vs Hyperlinks

There’s a difference between web links, short links, and hyperlinks. Here’s what they are and how they work:

What are web links?

Web links are unformatted website URLs. They’re strings of words, letters, and numbers that display in your web browser’s address bar for any website or web page.

Active web links are typically styled as highlighted text with an underline.

Example web link: https://app.messagedesk.com/register#/

What are short links?

Short links are web links that have been shortened through a link-shortening service or URL shortener. Short links display a shortened URL that redirects users to the full URL web link.

Shortening URLs comes in handy for text messaging. In some cases, on some platforms, texts are limited to 160 characters.

Short links are also trackable. This makes it possible for you to calculate click-through rates.

Example short link: https://msgdsk.io/l/w/30bXIOmi

What are hyperlinks?

Hyperlinks are text with a clickable html link. They appear as underlined and highlighted text.

Can you insert a hyperlink in a text message? No, you can’t add SMS hyperlink text into text messages yet. Hyperlinked text only works in emails and on web pages.

Example hyperlink: Try texting links with MessageDesk for free

How to Send a Link in a Text

The best way for businesses and organizations to send a link in a text is by using business text messaging services, like MessageDesk.

Business texting isn’t like texting from your personal phone — it's more advanced, with more features.

Platforms like MessageDesk also make it easy to save lists of SMS links and shorten them. You can even track your link clicks and calculate click-through rates (CTR) and engagement with short links.

Here’s how to send a link in a text using MessageDesk.

1. Click the paperclip icon when composing a text to add a new or saved link

Hey, would you mind linking me to that cool business texting service you found?
Sure, no problem!
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2. Add a new weblink and automatically shorten it

Type the URL you want to link to. This will create and save your URL as a new SMS link. When you click “Create link” MessageDesk will automatically create a shortened version of your link for you.

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3. Compose your text message and insert your SMS link

Compose your text once you’ve got your MessageDesk short link. You can also insert images, media, and personal information like {{ FirstName }} with tags into your text messages.

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4. Track your link clicks

After you send your SMS link in a text message, you can track its click-through rate (CTR) in MessageDesk. This is a great way to know if someone actually did something after getting your text. It makes it possible to gauge your text message campaign performance too.

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How to Text a Link on iPhone

You can text a link in iMessage on iPhone by copying and pasting a website URL into your text message. You can also type the full URL, directly into a text message. This will often create a preview of the website you’re linking to. On iPhone, you can also use Safari to text a link:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Browse to the page to share.
  3. Tap the Share button.
  4. Select Messages.
  5. Enter the contact info.
  6. Tap Send.
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How to Send a Link in a Text on Android

Android phones and Google Messages make it easy to text a link. Just copy a link into a text message from Chrome. You can also type the full URL, directly into a text message.

7 Ways Businesses and Organizations Use Live Links in Text Messages

Here are seven ways you can text a link.

  1. Add an SMS link to your website
  2. Broadcast links to marketing or promotional information
  3. Schedule, confirm, and remind about appointments with calendar links
  4. Text links to media, photos, documents, and PDFs
  5. Collect payments with text-to-pay links and payment reminders
  6. Text a link to a poll or survey to gather feedback
  7. Ask for reviews by texting a link to a review site

1. Add an SMS link to your website

Already using your website to generate leads and gather email addresses?

Consider adding a click-to-text SMS link button to your website as well.

These kinds of SMS URL links make it easy for people to directly start conversations with your business phone number on their cell phones.

What is an href SMS click-to-text button?

It’s an HTML SMS link. It usually appears as a button, chatbot, or clickable phone number listed on a website or web page. When someone clicks the button they get a link to SMS messages from their phone.

Using business texting software, you can also set up automated text messages. This makes it possible to auto-respond with a default message when someone starts a text conversation.

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2. Broadcast links to marketing or promotional information

Text message marketing is a great alternative to email.

Texts have some clear advantages and benefits vs email because email marketing frequently gets marked as spam and lost in an inbox.

But with texting, you can send a link in a text message directly to a person’s mobile device.

Business text messaging services make it easy to organize your contacts into groups, compose a text message broadcast with a link and schedule it to send.

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3. Schedule, confirm, and remind about appointments with calendar links

Sending a website link in a text also makes appointment scheduling confirmation and reminders easier.

It can also help you reduce appointment no-shows. All you have to do is send a link via text to your calendar or meeting scheduling software.

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4. Text links to media, photos, documents, and PDFs

SMS and MMS messaging make it possible to text pictures, photos, media, documents, PDFs, and more.

Many business texting services have built-in media galleries that store images and files as links. All you have to do is select media and include it in your text message.

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5. Collect payments with text-to-pay links and payment reminders

Getting paid isn’t easy. Reminding someone to pay you takes time and can be a hassle.

This is where text-to-pay links can help you collect payments and send reminders.

Some business text messaging services like MessageDesk sync directly with small business accounting software like QuickBooks.

This allows you to quickly create a link to a specific invoice and text a website link as a payment reminder.

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6. Text a link to a poll or survey to gather feedback

Conducting surveys and polls used to require a lot of effort.

But putting a link in a text message works well for acquiring feedback and sending NPS surveys and CSAT polls.

All you have to do is send a link in a text message to a Google Form. You can also link to tools like Survey Monkey.

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7. Ask for reviews by texting a link to a review site

Texting makes it easy to follow up with someone after they’ve had a great interaction with your business or organization. With texting, it’s easier to ask for a Google review by sending a text message with a link.

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SMS Link Best Practices

Here are five link-sending best practices.

1. Be aware of shortened URLs

Unless you use a business SMS service, some shortened URLs will get marked as spam and never get delivered. Carriers often flag links in texts as spam due to the rise in phishing schemes.

The way to make sure your text message gets delivered is to text with a vetted business texting service and get approved for carrier-verified A2P 10DLC text messaging.

2. Maintain your brand within the link

The links you send should establish trust in your communication.

So it's important to avoid sending links to unknown or non-secure web addresses.

If you’re texting a link to a bunch of contacts, also make sure to mention your brand name, business, or organization in the text.

3. Watch your message character count

A typical SMS text message on most texting platforms is limited to 160 English characters. Character counts above the 160 mark often count as another text message. This can increase your messaging costs.

This is where texting a short link through a trusted link-shortening service can come in handy. It can help you maintain your character limit and still allow you to put a link in a text message.

4. Make a text message template for commonly shared links

Maybe you have a ton of contacts to share the same information with. In this case, you'll want to save your message as a template with a link to help you speed up the messaging process.

All you need to do is select the text message template and send it to multiple contacts. This keeps you from having to type the same message over and over again.

5. Put your link at the bottom of your text message

Adding a link to a text may alter the formatting of your message. So you’ll want your contacts to see your message first before the link. This can help with increasing click-through rates, prompt contacts to take action, and keep your message from getting flagged as spam.

Try Texting Trackable SMS Links for Free

Get started with a 14-day free MessageDesk trial. No payment required. ❤️

Final thoughts and next steps

SMS links are a great way to quickly connect people to web pages. Plus, when used correctly, text messaging is a fantastic way to build and maintain positive conversational experiences.

Start sending texts with a free MessageDesk account today. Check out our paid plans - pricing starts at just $14 per month. You’re also free to meet with a messaging expert for a demo.